The other morning Madison was going to be picked up by a friend and her mom from the parsonage and dropped off at school. Michelle and I both had to be gone that morning and we figured this would be a good way to get Madison to school. Madison knew that she was to be looking out the window at 8:45 a.m. and go out the back door when the mother and her friend got there and enjoy her day at school. Well, 8:45 rolls around and Madison is looking out the window. Then, 8:48 rolls around and Madison is still looking out the window. Madison decides at this point that she can’t wait any longer. She gets her stuff together and starts walking/running to school (She didn’t want to be late.) The Mother and daughter show up maybe a minute later, but no Madison. When I got home that evening and Michelle told me what happened, I just laughed. It is such a Madison thing. She can get nervous and anxious.
As I have thought about what Madison did, I started to think about the times that I get nervous and times I get anxious and what I do. I think we can all come up with times in our past where we had to do something new or what lay ahead of us was something unknown and perhaps some nervousness or anxiety crept in. Maybe you didn’t know the outcome of something and you had to wait and you let your mind wonder into all the what ifs, what mights, and what coulds.
I know that the scripture talks about the peace of God, and if we are anxious about anything we should pray and submit our requests to God and that peace will pass our understanding and guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7). I know it, I try and do it, but sometimes I still find that I don’t let that peace past my understanding. I get anxious and start working my plan. I get nervous and fall back into what I think is safe, hoping to overcome and find peace, but that is not where it is. I let my head play out scenarios, come up with conclusions, that take me deeper into places of anxiousness.
Peace is not about an absence of struggles or turmoil or pain. Peace is what comes during those times. Peace is what settles you in your soul. It is a gift from God that needs to be received and sometimes a gift from God that is opened upon us even without our knowledge. Peace is a result of faith, as with Abraham when asked to sacrifice Isaac, but it is also given in grace as an act of love and calling, think about Jesus calming the storm. We need to let it come, ask for it to come, wait for it to come. We need to acknowledge that peace comes as the Lord is near (see Phil 4:5). We also need to praise God when it does come, share the reality of it in our lives so that others will know it can truly pass our understanding.
So next time your ride is late, or whatever may be making your nervous or anxious. Know that the Lord is near. So, “don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” May it be so, O Lord, May it be so. (Just another way of saying Amen).
Because of Him,
Rev. Lynn Beach is married to his college sweetheart, Michelle, and they have two adorable daughters. He has been at Park Church since July 2013.